For Postpartum Mommas Worldwide
After my last birth, I was very sick. I didn’t have any extended family nearby. I felt alone.
Women are often so lonely and separated nowadays from family and community; and there’s not as much maternity leave, so the problem of postpartum depression and anxiety just festers. One in four women are diagnosed with depression. Even without clinical diagnosis of depression and anxiety, many mommas are full of worry, overwhelmed, lack confidence, are sleep deprived and have periods when they do not feel emotionally well after having a baby. They are trying to do the best they can to be a mom and often have a hard time balancing responsibilities at work with family life and personal needs.
Several weeks after my last birth, I got very ill.
I felt like I was over caffeinated - my thoughts were racing, I was extremely agitated, panicked, completely overwhelmed and unable to function. I could not think clearly or make decisions. I could not sleep. I felt faint, and was losing weight. It seemed something was very wrong. I really felt alone, with no extended family living nearby, and felt unable to ask for help, even from my close friends. My husband did not understand and was worried. Friends and neighbors were concerned but I did not want them to know. My dear holistic colleagues and alternative providers came to my house to treat me; but nothing was working.
I was ashamed and embarrassed, and wanted it kept secret that I might have a 'mental illness.'
I had to go back to work as a midwife soon. My midwife suggested I see her collaborative OB. He, and subsequantly a family physician, said I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and should take Xanax medication - which I did not want to do as I was breastfeeding. They said a little wouldn't hurt, but that was not what the literature indicated. In desperation, I tried it a few times but it made me feel drugged and worse. I had felt anxious before and I knew it was not simply a matter of anxiety.
At my lowest point, I was having frightening repetitive thoughts, all noise seemed too loud, and faces seemed too big. It was literally torture and frightening to be in my body. My closest friend, an osteopath stayed with me through the night, doing treatments to relax my system. I wasn't able to think clearly, but do remember asking her to check my thyroid. I felt like I was dying and they called an ambulance, but I refused to leave my baby and go with them. I remember asking my friend to call my mother who lived three hours away, to pick me up. She came as soon as she could, and took me right over to the leading hospital in her area, which had a postpartum stress center. The doctor wanted me in the hospital because I was real sick and my thyroid was so elevated, but I again declined. I wasn't thinking rationally - I just wanted to nurse my baby and stay with my mother. The doctor finally agreed to monitor me closely out of the hospital, as my mom is a nurse and would take care of me and bring me to the center each day.
I had postpartum thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the thyroid initially makes too much hormone, before not making enough. This explained why I felt the way I did; it also created symptoms of moderate to severe postpartum anxiety and agitated depression. The doctor prescribed medications I was so afraid to take, but I was more afraid of my symptoms. I was so ill, I just surrendered and took them, but they also made me sick. So between the illness and the medications...I was one big mess. I am so grateful for the care I received at the center and from my mother, with whom I stayed for a month, and for my husband and friends, who took care of my other kids and home during this time.
I had to stop work for an entire year while recovering from my hyperthyroid illness and its effects on my system. I do not remember much of my life then. It actually took me a number of years to fully heal, using a comprehensive holistic approach. I studied and experienced the benefits of many modalities. My yoga and meditation practice were life changing. But the complete healing happened after intensive Clarity Breathwork sessions. It was the most delicious and miraculous feeling of relief I ever experienced.
It was this process and personal experience that resulted in my becoming known in our community as the midwife people would call when they had postpartum depression and anxiety.
No matter where you live, I can help you.
There is no failure in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I will help you move with grace through potential sadness, grief, fear, and anger to embrace and heal from your experience. We'll figure it out. Here’s how we can work together:
When you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, exhaustion, mild to moderate feelings of depression or anxiety, newborn care or breastfeeding challenges, or finding a sustainable new momma rhythm, I can help you with personalized guidance for your unique situation.
I know postpartum blues, depression and anxiety well, and have helped countless women prevent or overcome it in a wholesome, effective and lasting way.
If you didn't get a chance to go through the Love Your Birth Course prior to your birthing experience, and found it was not as positive of an experience as you would have liked, or even close to the birth you wanted, I can help.
Let's connect so you can heal from upsetting experiences and feelings of shame, failure, helplessness, physical and emotional trauma so you can feel stronger and be at peace with your journey.
This work together can help you to look forward to a much better experience the next time around.
It’s common to be very active with self-care before giving birth and then feel it’s impossible to balance everything after birth. It’s normal to have anxiety and fear around what might happen if you don’t get it all done and even start talking down to yourself for not 'doing enough.'
You need regular contact with someone who understands the physical and psychological levels of what is happening to support you through this. I’d love to help you with this.
*Care and consultations include access to my exclusive, private Home Sweet Homebirth Support Group and Community on Facebook. This a supportive community of women to create tribe, enable connection and bonding with likeminded mamas going through similar experiences along the journey of motherhood. You can use it to support one another or to ask for needed support when going through a hard time. You can use it to share or read inspiring, empowering, uplifting and educational content. I share exclusive posts and helpful information in response to questions and concerns brought up by the group.
This does not replace care from your primary provider.